Deo optimo maximo

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Deo optimo maximo, often abbreviated D.O.M. or Deo Opt. Max., is a Latin phrase which means "to the greatest and best god", or "to God, most good, most great".[1] It was originally used as a pagan formula addressed to Jupiter.[2][3]

Deo Opt. Max. abbreviation followed by an inscription, on the doorway of the Castellania, Valletta
D. O. M. abbreviation followed by an inscription, on the Fawwara Gate, Gżira

Its usage while the Roman Empire was a polytheistic state referred to Jupiter, the chief god of the Roman pantheon polytheists: Iovi Optimo Maximo (I.O.M.). When the Roman Empire adopted monotheism in the form of Christianity as the state religion, the phrase was used in reference to the Christian God. Its use continued long after the fall of the Roman Empire as Latin remained the ecclesiastical and scholarly language in the West.

Thus the phrase, or its abbreviation, can be found on many Renaissance-era churches and other buildings, especially over sarcophagi, particularly in Italy and Malta.[4]

It is also inscribed on bottles of Bénédictine liqueur.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Morana, Martin (2011). Bejn Kliem u Storja (in Maltese). Malta: Books Distributors Limited. ISBN 978-99957-0137-6. OCLC 908059040. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016.
  2. ^ The Concise Oxford Definitionary of the Christian Faith. Oxford University Press. 2006. doi:10.1093/acref/9780198614425.001.0001. ISBN 9780198614425. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016.
  3. ^ Ovason, David (2012). The Secrets Of Nostradamus: The Medieval Code of the Master Revealed in the Age of Computer Science. Random House. p. 61. ISBN 1448108799.
  4. ^ Munro, Dane (2005). "Memento Mori" (PDF). M. J. Publications. p. 54. ISBN 9789993290117. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 July 2017.